School bus Stop (File)

Children cross South Rock Crusher Road last November as they approach a Citrus County School District bus on its way to Rock Crusher Elementary School.

An Inverness Middle School student was injured last Friday on a bus ride to school when two other students purportedly wrapped a shoelace around his neck and tightened it.

According to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) incident report obtained Wednesday, the student was released to his parents after a school nurse checked a lined abrasion across his throat.

CCSO investigators and prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office are reviewing the case to determine how or whether to charge one or possibly both of the alleged assailants, sheriff's-office spokeswoman Jodi Sanders said Thursday.

In the meantime, those students were released to their respective parents or guardians, the report shows.

Citrus County School District spokeswoman Lindsay Blair said Thursday that district officials disciplined both students, but wouldn’t elaborate, citing student-protection laws.

Citing the open investigation, school-safety policies and other state laws on minors, Blair and Sanders said they could not release the identities of the other students, or the video recording of the bus ride.

According to CCSO’s report, a school administrator brought the injured student to the school’s resource officer, sheriff’s-office deputy Randall Pollard, to report the injuries after the bus ride earlier that morning on Aug. 30.

The student reportedly told Pollard he was playing on his cellphone while sitting on the school bus, resting his forehead against the seat in front of him. He said he then felt and saw a white string on his neck that tightened before unraveling, the report states.

The student named another student who he said he saw holding the shoestring.

That student reportedly denied any involvement to Pollard, explaining he was sitting in front of the other student, and was flipping the string over the back of the seat.

When the string “got stuck,” the student explained, he pulled the string hard to free it, the report shows.

Pollard's review of the bus’ surveillance footage reportedly corroborated the injured student's version of events.

After reviewing the footage, Pollard questioned the two students who appeared to be involved in the attack and both admitted their involvement. According to the report, one of the teens was already serving sanctions in Teen Court for a burglary offense.

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Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

(2) comments

PaulDuck

This certainly sounds like two bullies that need to feel the consequences.

CitrusCo Citizen

I agree. A stupid prank tor hateful attack hat could have ended in a serious injury or even death. A shoelace, or anything else, tightened around the neck is a dangerous weapon. If that was my child I would press charges.

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